Stumbling into Grace

Yesterday, I briefly touched grace.grace, botanical gardens

If we are lucky, we have moments of grace when all feels right in our world, resonating as peace in our heart.

I was feeling raw and slipping into depression, then I read another post by Stacy. Her post reminded me about the power of intention, choice and accepting responsibility. The photo was taken at our local Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks in another moment of grace from last month.

I still feel raw, but I also feel more hopeful and empowered to make choices that lead me in the directions I want to go. One of those directions is compassion and love for myself. I realized that I was feeling down partly due to the judgemental inner voices about my life. So I offered myself some compassion. Writing about my feelings is also part of my desire for authenticity, connection and care. In other words, listening to and honoring my feelings.

For a little background. I have wrestled with depression for most of my life. The only stretches of my life that I recall more continuous joy were from 1990-1994 while traveling and then living in Boulder, CO. Then again for a brief few months in 2010 while living in Madison, WI. The common threads from those times seem to be following my dreams and passions, living fully, reaching out more to people, traveling and being physically active. All things that I value, so my life was more aligned with my values and passions, which is a good recipe for living. For more on alignment, explore Eric Tonningsen’s blog covering topics like awareness, meaning and living our values.

During the last 4 years since moving back to Fayetteville, my life has been in a downhill slide emotionally and financially. I’ve lost 80% of my savings due to poor investment choices. My social circles and friendships are shrinking, and I have no job or income. Mostly, I’ve been isolating, getting stuck in negative thinking, depressed feelings and taking little action to make things different in my life. The one bright spot has been my blog. I am very grateful for the creative expression and most of all, the connections and sharing with kind souls around the planet. Thank you for your support!

I continually feel an urge to travel the world, but have not allowed myself to travel much since the early 90s, even when I had the money. Now that I don’t have much money left, it seems prudent to save it for rainy days and retirement. Not traveling when I had the funds is one of my big regrets. I also struggle with a perceived lack of purpose. I believe my general purpose is to be love, and more specifically, to inspire and connect as I do with my writing and blog. But truthfully, I don’t have a clear sense of the rightness of these as my purpose.

With no clear goals, intentions or purpose, it is very hard to measure any kind of progress or success in life.

This is the crux of my life situation. For most of 2014, I’ve been focusing on self love and compassion as my values and intentions. And I believe that I’ve made progress, but how do you measure love? I feel more accepting of myself, yet still feel the urge to live more fully. Maybe my heart is asking me to explore and discover my deepest desires. Maybe inner exploration can be my new course of “travel”; to continue exploring my inner worlds, mining the jewels of inner light, love and wisdom.

Decisions have been another big challenge for me. So where am I going with this post? Much like my life, it’s hard to tell. All I know, is that I will keep moving forward as best I can. I will practice listening for my heart’s desires, setting intentions and taking actions to align my life with those heart whispers.

I pray for more grace, peace and trust. After letting this post sit for a day, I can see how I still cling to my sad stories which is part of what I’m learning to change (to keep bringing my focus back to things that I do want). Thankfully, I was also reminded yesterday to create a new story that is empowering. So my story, like life, continues…Next up is lessons from the fall. 

Thank you for your continued support, especially those who reach out a helping hand to add a little comfort, inspiration and grace to my life. Blessings, Brad.

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59 thoughts on “Stumbling into Grace

  1. Maybe my heart is asking me to explore and discover my deepest desires. Maybe inner exploration can be my new course of “travel”; to continue exploring my inner worlds, mining the jewels of inner light, love and wisdom. In my opinion, not “maybe”, for sure! Very sincere and touching post! Difficulties, problems and ordeals make us grow up, if we’re clever enough to try to understand their meaning. Your intelligence and your sensibility are your most precious richness! As Yvonne would say (http://misifusa.wordpress.com/) SHINE ON!

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    • Yes Frederic. Facing our challenges help us grow up, even when we don’t want to. 🙂 Thank you again for your kind and supportive comments. I appreciate you helping me see my own riches and providing uplifting words. My online community has become a big part of my life and support system. Thank you.

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    • Hello Brad “Blessed be the poor of spirit, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of God” and “Thy kingdom will come , thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. And “There is no greater love than the love to give your life to another”. You may find yourself taking a bullet for another, or it may be giving your life into a friendship or into a marriage. So no matter how you give your life, “There is no greater love” Not even the love of the creation of the whole universe. But the “BEST” love is “When you do unto the least among you, you do this unto the creation of the whole universe” I hope you got the reply to the posting. about your friend Nao Uedu. about the anti-depression affects of lemon, lemon oil, lavender oil, green tea also is good for a healthy brain. but the affect kicks in with 4-8 servings a day, especially with some fruit. Ben Franklin say’s, “Your health is your greatest wealth” and he was a tea drinker. With thoughts of love michael

      bl

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  2. Hi Brad. Thank you for blessing people with this courageous post. Sharing so openly and authentically can only bring you more peace. This strikes me as writing to freedom at it’s best. These feelings can no longer haunt you. They hold no power over you. You have let them out and even provided your solution in doing so. You can let them go now. You can lean back from the emotion they once held over you. You can look clearly at them here in writing above as you see the map you have provided yourself for a path out of slipping back into them again. I love that you have already linked intention with the solution. Once you can embrace the peace of letting these feelings go, you are opening the doors and all the windows to allow in larger blessings, abundance to return, and your purpose to come clearly into vision. Without a story, purpose can be seen. May you feel comforted by your courage that came from the stillness to help you chart your course. You are connected to many and you will be lifted by loving support coming your way in abundance. Sending you love and joy! Smile! The big smile, that comes from the soul! 🙂 The thought that my post yesterday may have helped a friend in any small way means more to me than I could ever express. Thank you for sharing Brad! With So Much Gratitude and Encouragement, Stacy

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    • Thanks dear Stacy. You seem to be my angel this week, sending me messages that I need to hear and then loving support and encouragement to pick myself up and keep on reaching toward a richer, fuller live deliberately chosen. There is a lot of wisdom here for me to digest. 🙂 The smile I can do! Yes, you help me and I very much appreciate you. ❤ Blessings to you, Brad

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      • You are an angel right back. I just now made the connection that I sent out a prayer this week about my own purpose and I feel that this blessed conversation with you is an answer or sorts. In receiving the blessings we bless each other right back. You did that for me. Thank you! My heart is so grateful! Stacy

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  3. I think we all stumble upon those moments of grace, a period of flow, rightness, and contentedness that just resonates a warm feeling of inner peace throughout our being. Many times we let them come and go. We enjoy them, but we don’t notice them. And by notice them, I suppose I mean that we don’t “take note” of them, to accept them as something that induces a peaceful state. For me at least, when we recognize when these moments occur, we are able to better understand the conditions, the reasons, and perhaps a deeper message or meaning around the aura created in that moment. And then, as you say, we can work to set goals, intentions, and purposeful decisions to replicate those auras based upon our reflection. At least, that’s the way it seems to be for me. When I actually do that. Which, I admit, is not often enough 😉

    That’s where writing your thoughts and feelings down are so valuable, whether it’s in the composition of a post (as you have done) or in a reply to one (which I am doing now). Just reading your thoughts and then reflecting on them in my own way has allowed me to identify an area where I am lacking in my own life, the recognition of inner peace and grace when it occurs, and reflecting upon it.

    Today’s western society seems to dictate that we need to have quantitative and measurable goals. Read x number of books, Write y number of posts. Exercise z times a week. These are all good. But, like you, I long for something deeper. It took me a while to come up with my tagline on my own blog. It’s only four words, inspire and be inspired, but it’s what I live for in all facets of my life: family, professional, social, etc. Sometimes our goals are difficult to measure. Have I inspired someone every day of my life? Most decidedly, no. But, if I can continue to do the things that allow that inspiration to transpire, I am successful and I am at peace. And that, my friend, is awesome 🙂

    Thanks for an enlightening, authentic, vulnerable, and compassionate post. It has certainly helped me to live up to half of my tagline today: be inspired 🙂

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    • Thanks for your honest, insightful and kind words Dave. Yes, I’d say you lived your purpose today. 🙂 Thank you. I really only came to the grace this morning and edited the post slightly, but left most of it to reflect and learn as you wisely suggested. Yes, it seems the more authentic I am with my posts and comments the more I not only help myself, but others, and they in turn help me. A lovely circle of sharing and support.

      More lessons are coming. 🙂 I appreciate your encouragement to go deeper and not worry so much about goals and externals. It’s a challenge to a recovering perfectionist, along with a sincere desire to make a difference in the world. I appreciate the simplicity and clarity of your purpose. Mine is starting to clarify.

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  4. I love how you said “Maybe inner exploration can be my new course of “travel”; to continue exploring my inner worlds, mining the jewels of inner light, love and wisdom.” Seriously, that’s really amazing stuff right there, Brad! This is such a good post, so sincerely expressed with such transparency. Thank you so much for sharing it…

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  5. You’re welcome Julie, I had more insights which I’m going to share in another post. It’s a fine line between disclosure and adding to the pain for me in writing about my challenges. As Dave said, it does help with my own self awareness.

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  6. Brad thank you for sharing such a heartfelt and genuine post…sometimes it is in the darkest of times we stumble on the brightest of hope in our heart that keeps us moving…just like you are doing…you are strong, you are caring and most importantly you are here…and sometimes that is all we need for we know we can make our tomorrow better 🙂 You are inspiring …thank you for sharing once again 🙂

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  7. Thanks Neha, It’s hard for me to share my pain, especially writing on my blog with its intended purpose to inspire! 🙂 I appreciate your care and encouragement. I’m glad that you find inspiration in this post.
    blessings and many thanks! 🙂

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  8. I am glad you are offering yourself loving kindness and compassion, as you so freely give both to others! I am inspired by your honesty and courage and resilience. Have you read Donald Miller’s work? He is a wonderful storyteller who inspires me to live my own story, reminds me I am responsible for writing my own story, and what elements of a great story are. He’s a fabulous writer. I pray also you are graced with grace, peace and trust-

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  9. Thanks for your kind prayers and encouragement Susanna. I enjoy helping others and am glad to know that my words inspire. Maybe I’m already living my purpose (connecting, inspiring and helping). 🙂 I hadn’t heard of Donald Miller but will explore his writing. I love the metaphor of writing and creating our own story. I’d prefer one that touches, inspires and helps others. 🙂

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  10. Brad, maybe you can find a very cute photo of yourself when you were little and ask little Brad what his dreams are? And then you can look into those innocent sweet eyes of that little boy and tell him: You deserve all the happiness in the world, and I will try to make all of your dreams come true! 🙂 Because I don’t think that little innocent Brad is so hard to love. Maybe that can help little bit. 🙂

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  11. Brad, when I think about the love and kindness you share with the world, I hope you will keep a jar of it for yourself on the rainy days.

    You also need to know that most of the successful people I’ve ever met have either had to overcome losing it all, or come pretty darn close. You’d never know it unless the moment comes up where they share these experiences.
    So don’t be hard on yourself. You must forgive yourself.

    Question:
    Can you build on your Awesome Stories “magazine”? Perhaps through crowd-funding, make it into a real entity, over and above a blog post each week? It’s such an inspiration.

    I have bleak days too, and your Awesome Stories uplift me so much, they make me want to run a marathon (metaphorically speaking, of course — smile).

    I love these words of yours:
    “All I know, is that I will keep moving forward as best I can. I will practice listening for my heart’s desires, setting intentions and taking actions to align my life with those heart whispers.”

    Sending you back some of the love and kindness and respect you send out to all of us regularly.

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  12. What a loving message. Thank you Cynthia. I like your idea for an Awesome Stories ezine and will consider it. It helps to be reminded that my words matter to others. I’ll hold some back! or simply bask in knowing that you and others find joy and inspiration in my words. And I appreciate the wise reminder that success can still come, and often does, after big losses. Forgiveness is harder as this is the second time I’ve wiped out my life savings due to my same investing choices. And I’m willing to forgive. 🙂 Thanks for your kindness and continued support! 🙂

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  13. I was moved by so much in this post. That you clearly recognize the common threads from your joyful times gives hope. I too, love these words: “Maybe inner exploration can be my new course of “travel”; to continue exploring my inner worlds, mining the jewels of inner light, love and wisdom.” This reminds me of Henry David Thoreau who did not travel far on the physical map, and who wrote: “We need only travel enough to give our intellects an airing.” I feel that you are traveling in a good direction. Peace and Blessings to you, Brad.

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      • It’s not always easy for me either, but it’s getting easier. I still need reminders to have faith, but now that I’m looking for them, God and the universe provide the reminders. Maybe those signs were there all along, and I’m just more aware of them. I forget less often where I put my faith and discover, more often, that it’s right under my nose or right beside me. You are welcome to borrow/share/accept some of my faith. I will let that motivate me to seek and accept faith and healing more diligently so that those things will overflow the banks of my soul and be more accessible.

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      • Thanks Joanna. I’m glad it’s getting easier for you. Maybe the looking for and expecting them is part of the process that I haven’t been doing. Thanks for caring and offering your help, faith and motivation. blessings

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  14. Hi Brad,

    There is a streak of positivity that is shining through your words at many places and that is what makes you and your thoughts so insightful. I am glad you are trying to understand yourself more profoundly – joy is only momentary Brad, real alignment is accepting whatever we have and moving ahead with renewed hope and vigor. The power to renew your goals lies within. The indecisive disposition too is ingrained. Just let these moments of ‘grace’ uplift you.

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    • Thanks for your encouragement and understanding Balroop. Wise reminders you offer. I’ll keep exploring myself and getting up when I fall. Yes, joy and happiness seem fleeting, at least for me. Maybe as I develop more trust in the path and process, inner peace will grow. blessings,

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  15. Brad, you know a bit about me. We’ve shared kind and supportive words across our respective blogs for over a year. What I’m going to share with you here is a contrarian view because being a contrarian has served me well in life, love, making choices and a plethora of other matters. You, and perhaps some who read and comment on your posts, may think me harsh, uncaring or not gentle. You’ve had plenty of “gentle’ with wonderful, encouraging comments. They will always be there. The people who care about you and your wellness (myself included) aren’t going to abandon you. However…

    If you were a client of mine, I wouldn’t proffer advice. But you’re not a client so for you consideration and a redirecting of your efforts and intentions, I’m going to share some advice. And I’m qualified to because I have traveled a path very similar to yours.

    You possess and warmly express an abundance of self-love, caring, compassion, values, connecting with people, and much more. It’s evident and it’s genuinely you. These are qualities and traits that define you. So do something that aligns with these, your passions! Stop looking to your past. Making excuses for where you are NOW doesn’t serve you or anyone well. Sitting in front of your computer and (to your words) isolating yourself is not taking action. You don’t need to have crystal clarity about what to do, where to go, how to channel your strengths and talents. Simply jerk yourself out of the rut you’re in. Bag the perfectionist stuff and choose to move forward — intentionally.

    Challenge yourself to complete something(s) within a set period of time. Maybe you’ll succeed; maybe you’ll fail. But at least you’ll be facing forward and making some degree of progress; even if its two steps forward and one step back. Waiting, wallowing, and wondering gets no man (or woman) anywhere. It’s lovely that you are more accepting of yourself and that maybe your heart is asking you to explore and discover your deepest desires. But maybe’s are passive. At this stage you don’t need to measure your progress or success. Right now, you have a wonderful opportunity to take definitive action. So maybe an immediate focus could be to identify a few short-term achievable tasks that take you away from the (un)comfortable zone in which you acknowledge finding yourself. But at least you’ll be taking structured action versus being mired in front of your computer all day with an empathetic following. And trust me, no one can be more empathetic than me.

    Yes, I’m in your face because right now, you need to take charge of your life. Make choices. And step into your growth zone! Then… come back to your blog in a month or two and share with we who care, what you have accomplished, what it’s going to lead to, and how you’re feeling about being back in the driver’s seat.

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    • Hi Eric, Thanks for being true to your self and sharing your perspective. I need to digest this and probably the essence of what you wrote is accurate. There is no doubt that I can benefit from more action and personal responsibility. What action becomes the challenge. And I do believe my writing is action that aligns with my passions and purpose. At the same time having a job, income and more in-person connections would be great.
      BTW, I’ve been actively pursuing jobs for 3-4 months with many applications and interviews, yet only 2 offers for commission-only sales which I really don’t want to do.
      Thanks for caring enough to challenge me. I also need encouragement.

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      • Self-belief is the most important source of encouragement, Brad. We inspire and drive ourselves. If you want others to influence your decision-making and choice of actions, that’s certainly an option. Hold yourself accountable for what you do, how you feel and where you chart your course. But do something! and figure out what it means and how it might add value to your being — later.

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  16. Hi Brad…I read your post last night after a long day in the city…and I knew that I needed to sleep on this before I wrote to you. I would go out on a limb and say that there are probably many, many people in this forum who have felt as you do. I think when we have that feeling that there is something we need to “find”…or that there is “something” that will make us happy…take us out of our perceived “rut”…I think it is our soul telling us that we are not doing what we “signed up for.” And sometimes it can be as simple as we are not treating ourselves in the manner of true love. I know for me, an ex-perfectionist (which is a laugh because can we ever truly be an ex at that???) I think I thought if I did everything perfectly then I could control what happened in a world that was very unpredictable…but see, that is not the way we can control things….the only true control we have over anything in this life here on earth is with our thoughts. When I thought that I was so sick that I could barely get out of bed…guess what…I could barely get out of bed! If you think you are “missing” something….or you don’t know what your “purpose” is…then guess what? You will be missing something and you won’t know what your purpose is! And I, like your previous commenter, feel I can say this to you because I walked this same path. When I stopped “searching” for something…I found it! When I stopped feeling like something was missing….it wasn’t!

    I know I am all over the place here…but I hope there is a tid bit that will spark something for you. Because no matter what Brad….you can get advice from a million of well intentioned peeps here….but nothing will change for you until YOU change it! You have a very good heart….and where there is love there can not be fear! I will send you beautiful white healing energy and have an intention that you will be enlightened in your own mind, Brad! Much love to you….believe you are good!

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    • Thanks Lorrie. I’d love to package up all this loving energy from you and others to break through my perceived blocks. Your advice and Eric’s are almost polar opposite. You suggest a shift by attitude and he suggests a shift by action. Probably it’s a blend of both. More self love and trust, more action, and willingness to experiment, fail and learn.
      Thanks for your support Lorrie. 🙂

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      • I wish I had read things in order!! I just sent you a long response….I think it was on my Haiku post. Brad…there are many roads to one destination. And there are as many opinions…and the thing about opinions is that none of them are wrong!

        When I look at your shining smile in your photo I see a soul that has so much love to give! I do think what I wrote to you in that response is something that will help you. It will make you get out and get in contact with people. It will make you face fears…I see a lot of fear Brad. A Course in Miracles says there are two emotions…that everything in life stems from either Love or Fear….where there is one there can not be another. Have you read it? or I should say practiced it?
        ❤ Lorrie

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  17. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful. honest post..
    Brad I admire your strength first of all and your ability to come to terms with these feelings which we all struggle with at times. You are an amazing soul and I truly believe,life’s journey teaches us many way to deal with these various states. Your undeniable support and love is truly a blessing indeed and I hope you truly understand the warmth you give to us all!
    Please do not ever hesitate to contact me if you ever want to just talk…I’m always here to listen.
    With much love and light to you my dear friend.
    Zara 🙂

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    • Thank you Zara. Your kind offer to simply listen is one of the best gifts I can imagine. 🙂 I feel touched to my core. Being heard and accepted is always a blessing and might help with reconnecting to joy and clarity. Thank you again.

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  18. Thank you for honestly sharing a piece of your life Brad, depression is such a difficult thing to tackle, although not impossible. You have my full sympathy, I used to suffer with it too! Mainly in my teens to my early 20’s. I described it to my mother once as if it was like someone creeping up behind me (on a good day) and somehow leaving me with a deadly feeling, turning my good day into a rotten day. I thought about that later and being only 17 wasn’t sure if the idea was mad, but decided to treat those moments as if it really was someone behind me. Whenever I felt that feeling I’d turn around and say “Go away, I don’t want you any more.” Still felt a bit crazy though! But after a few weeks, a few months those nasty episodes were happening less and less

    And despite suffering a severe physical illness a few years after that, (I did have some down days about that) but those unexplained depressions never really returned. I also learnt to recognise thought patterns. Sometimes I’d manage to backtrack my thoughts a few hours back to the morning where I had heard something depressing on the news, and narrowed down where my negative thought pattern that day had begun. All the rest had been added on throughout the day, and by evening I’d be in shreds!

    I taught myself not to react to the news I heard, not to take it to heart too much. In fact today I barely listen to news at all, I do get to hear a bit here and there, but I refuse to let it wash over me on a daily basis – it doesn’t help. There’s not a lot of us can do about events happening the other side of the world, and being stressed by it does nothing but damage us. If we didn’t have newspaper, radio or TV and the internet we wouldn’t know about it all – that was normal at one time many years ago!

    I think a lot of sensitive, and often artistic people are badly affected by depression. We just feel too much! But feeling is essential to that artistic side. Learning to keep those feelings in balance and use them effectively, not allow them to abuse us, is a real skill. But when you find that place without those negative thoughts – the freedom is wonderful!

    I don’t know how I come across as person on my blog Brad, but I wouldn’t describe my life as happy, or unhappy, I have some similar problems in life that you have described here. Lots of things I have been living with that I would love to be put right this very moment. But I wouldn’t say I’m depressed because of it. A little stressed sometimes, yes, but not overwhelmed. I actually believe depression is often separate to our circumstances, although it doesn’t feel like it. The proof of that to me is there are some people who have everything, financially stable, good supportive friends and family, a great job, happy childhood memories, and yet they can be suicidal. The mind is a complex place!

    Have you ever heard of a man called Prentice Mulford? He was a writer of various subjects, one being travel, the other spiritual. I read his small collection of essays called Thoughts Are Things back in the 1980’s. It was a very old antique book my Dad had owned since he was a young man, and I just picked it up one day while in the midst of that dreadful physical illness an read them all. His writings in that book changed my thinking forever – for the good. It might help you to, if you enjoy spirit minded uplifting thinking. You won’t need to buy it, just Google search for it, it’s on line to read for free in quite a few websites. If you have trouble finding it, just let me know and I’ll try and help you out.

    I hope life and thoughts really improve greatly for you soon. Having a blog helps with that, it’s a good way to stay connected to others who have been where you are, and also keep your mind slightly less on yourself, that’s always a good thing! 🙂

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  19. Thanks Suzy, I appreciate you sharing your challenges and insights on depression, sensitivity and how our thoughts create. Expressing and connecting on this blog has been a big part of me relearning to choose my thoughts and actions. Thanks for caring and reflecting on a charged topic for me. I’m going to take the weekend off to focus on more enjoyable things. 🙂

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  20. My Dearest Brad, First off, I’m sending you a HUGE cyber hug! Your courage to share such raw emotion will help/inspire countless others. Having said that, I’ve got to vote for Eric’s response. Here’s why.

    My mother suffers panic attacks. Something she has endured for 20 years — but refuses to treat — other than with pills. This condition prevents her from getting on airplanes, crossing bridges, going through tunnels, hiking in hills, driving outside her “safe radius” of about 10 miles, I could go on and on and on. In a nutshell, it reduces her life to a heartbreaking level…Because this can be genetic, I’ve done my share of research. And EVERYTHING I read points to ACTION. The longer a person sits and thinks about doing this or that, the longer the list grows for all the scary reasons they can’t. I’m not making light of your circumstances by any means. Just saying that we’ve all been there to a certain degree.

    I remember my first job out of college was a commission-only telemarketing position. Seems no one else was interested in a gal with a communications degree and zero experience. 😉 And I wanted to move out and be on my own so desperately that I accepted a job I viewed as “clearly beneath me.” But a funny thing happened along the way.

    In the very same building I worked was a recruitment company. Wouldn’t you know, I became friends with one of the recruiters. Soon thereafter, I became a recruiter too. Within a year, my job placement contacts had expanded nationwide. Before I knew it, my dream of moving from Chicago to Los Angeles became reality…I’m not going to bore you with the rest of my resume. My rambling tangent hopefully illustrates how just putting yourself out there can set the ball in motion.

    I’ve worked for a ten different companies, moving roughly fifteen times. Every change brought challenges, but those challenges built confidence. Am I still terrified that I’m not doing enough to make a positive difference in this world? You bet, but I’m out there giving it my best shot every chance I get!

    Thank you for reading ALL of this. I think it’s clear from the response to this post that people LOVE & CARE ABOUT YOU!! You’re such a giving soul with unlimited potential. To borrow the old Nike slogan: JUST DO IT!!!!! xoxo

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  21. Thanks for the care and suggestions Shauna. I took some time to digest this and let my feelings settle.Yes, I clearly need action. What action toward what career is the sticking point. Meanwhile, I will continue applying, interviewing and pondering. And do the best I can to explore, encourage and empower myself. I wish I had the confidence, clarity and support to take bold decisive action.

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  22. Hi, Brad. I’m sending you love and support as you trudge along your way. Depression’s a hard thing to counter, and made harder when we’re not working or otherwise engaged in the world, which can pull us out of the swamp. That’s my experience, anyway. Keep loving yourself. Keep treasuring those moments of grace. Keep asking for help and companionship. Do you pray? That helps me. Wishing you the best. Bettina

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  23. Hi Bettina. Nice to “see” you here and thanks for the support. Yes, prayer helps me too as well as meditation, time in nature or helping others. You connected the main ingredient; engagement with the world in ways that mean something to me and hopefully help others too. I appreciate your encouragement. 🙂

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  24. Brad, your vulnerability really touched me here today.What you said about following your passion seems like a nugget of wisdom. I hope you find a way to combine work with travel, so you can live out the passion. Writing for a travel magazine? Do you think it’s possible there is something that still needs to be processed that would help alleviate the depression?
    I admire you for reaching out in this way right in the midst of it all.
    Keep on connecting -it’s good for you, and it’s good for all of us that you touch.

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  25. I find that vulnerability is a great connector. I’m delighted that you were touched and appreciate my sharing. Yes, I imagine there is more to process, but I don’t go looking for it. I trust life to bring up what I need to embrace. Work with travel would be excellent. I don’t know much about the field of travel writing, but might look into it. Thanks for caring and offering ideas Denise. 🙂

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  26. Wealth…you are one of the richest people I know, sharing love, compassion and kindness…and yet, it appears you have an endless supply. Huge smiles, hugs, blessings and lots of love. If my hands were working better…I’d type non-stop, til then…

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  27. Hey Brad, I’m so glad I caught this. Thanks so much for the honesty that I hope was as freeing as it was hard to share. I’ve had long stretches of dark – even helpless – situations like yours and can understand the challenges of trying to stay afloat emotionally and financially, at least in my own way. You pose some real good questions I’m sure people can relate to. How DO you measure qualitative progress apart from quantitative goals? I’m glad you have a growing community to think through these ques with, and that we can inspire and help lift one another when our ground gives way. The reminder that every moment presents me a choice not only of action but emotional reaction is something you all presented me the past year or so in the discussions. Been so helpful.

    All my love and cheerleading,
    Diana

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thanks Diana. I’m glad and surprised I could help you. I’m learning to make better choices! 🙂

    OK, I’m editing my first response to remind myself that change starts with my attitude and new choices. So I am choosing to believe in myself and my ability to find fun work that pays the bills, along with great friends and support like I have online. Thanks for being part of my community. blessings, Brad

    Liked by 1 person

  29. So many have already said so much that I would only be repeating.

    You do have love, value and strength, Brad, and it’s evident not only in your posts but in the large and wise and compassionate community you’ve built—yes, *you* built it, and continue to—so you already have the most essential tools for your move forward. Like you and many others, I’ve job-hunted, too, and know that frustration and discouragement. What I’ve learned along the way includes that, when I can’t find a way to be paid for what matters most to me, I should dive in and do it for free. I give this gift to myself, yes. But also, whenever and however possible, to others. It might be the uncomplicated act of seeking out a lonely person to cheer him or her up a little bit, just for a moment; it might be much bigger and more structured, spending a day or a regular recurring time assisting a charitable organization that can use my unskilled or skilled labor.

    Oddly, this volunteer stuff not only pays better emotionally and spiritually as anyone might guess, but it has always led to my stumbling onto ways to ‘get by’ in the more practical senses. Otherwise I wouldn’t be alive to tell the tale, would I! You might think about how these things could apply to you as well; if nothing else, the contemplation of what you can *give away* even in poverty will likely lead you to thoughts of what you value and desire most, and ways to pursue those things, whether for a living or for a Life. Or both.

    Blessings,
    Kathryn

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks for the wonderfully supportive and helpful comments Kathryn. I am volunteering and giving away some of my time and talents and could do more including my writing and marketing skills. Interesting perspective to call the emotional and spiritual benefits my pay. XD I appreciate the reminder that I’ve “built” something here on my blog. I enjoy the writing, sharing, connecting and sense of community.Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights. blessings, Brad

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